Weather emergencies happen whether you are on the road, at home, or on vacation. Depending on where you are, weather can turn quickly and you might find yourself riding out a storm in your RV. Be prepared with this list of RV weather emergency must-haves.
Remember, Your RV Has Wheels
Since you are in your RV, you can leave. So, if you have the ability (enough notice, money, fuel, etc.), get out of there! There is no reason to ride out a storm in your RV if you don't have to.
My must-have list includes items that you can take with you when you evacuate or use if you find yourself riding out a store.
Whether you in a home or in an RV, extra food is a must during any weather emergency. Of course, since you can't predict an emergency, you should consider keeping some extra food in your tiny home.
I know space is limited in your RV, but try to find ways to keep a store of canned foods that you can keep with you just in case you find yourself in an RV weather emergency. If you have a tow vehicle or a toad, you might be able to keep a small number of canned goods in that vehicle to avoid using your previous RV cabinet space.
Having drinkable water is an absolute must. I recommend you always keep your onboard freshwater tank clean and full of drinkable water. Even if you are staying at a campground, connected to city water, having a clean and full fresh water tank is the way to go. Not only are emergencies unpredictable, but sometimes work is done on the waterlines without prior notification to RV campers. It's always best to be prepared.
In addition to having your freshwater tank ready to go, I recommend keeping collapsible water jugs. These can be stored easily and filled just as easily when needed. Of course, if you face an emergency, you might not have enough time to fill the jugs up. Use your best judgment on how much extra water you should keep on-hand at all times or if you suspect in-bound weather.
Always keep extra fuel with you at all times. We always keep 1 extra 20 lb tank of propane, 1 5 gallon tank of diesel, and 1 5 gallon tank of gasoline. It's not much, but it may really help us out if we find ourselves in an emergency.
Fuel shortages are a real thing and can occur while trying to evacuate ahead of a storm or during the storm itself. Having a few extra gallons may just what you need to get you to a safe spot when you really need it.
Make sure to store the extra fuel in appropriate containers. You don't want to create a dangerous situation for yourself.
Power is one of the first things to go when you are in a home and it isn't any different at the campground. An RV ready inverter generator can really get you out of a jam in you find yourself in an RV weather emergency that affects electricity. Having power will help you keep your phones charged and keep you connected and safe for longer periods of time. If the temperatures are extreme, having electricity can be very important to keep all families members in a safe and comfortable environment.
There are often times where the weather has passed and you still find yourself without electricity. In addition, if you find yourself evacuating, you might not have electricity and a generator may be vital to keep your family going.
Solar is also a good component to have, but if the weather emergency includes lots of rain and cloudy skies, that solar might not be as helpful as having a generator. If possible, have both.
Whether you have a generator and/or solar, none of it will matter at all if you have crappy RV batteries. Your RV batteries will keep the lights on in your rig, power your DC plugs, and allow your furnace to run without being plugged into shore power. If your rig is set up differently, with an inverter, you can use your outlet and appliances as if you were connected to shore power.
The original stock RV batteries won't hold their charge for very long. This means that they need to be charged again with solar, shore power, or a generator. I recommend replacing those RV batteries and upgrading them to something that can hold that charge for longer. Battleborn Lithium batteries are capable of holding their charge for a very long time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you run out of fuel to run your generator and/or your solar isn't usable or some other unknown circumstance doesn't allow you to recharge your batteries, having strong batteries that maintain their charge will be vital to your safety and comfort.
Emergency Weather Radio
In an RV weather emergency, having a weather radio is a great precaution to have. It's a reliable way to get weather updates and here emergency communications.
A weather radio will also have weather-related information available. I received the SUNGLIFE Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio for free to conduct a review. This small and light radio not only had the weather only channels, but it also had the following features:
USB charger that can be used to charge the radio and your phone
It's a great little radio that we have actually been using daily. It's small to allow for easy storage even in the smallest rig and easy to keep it charged and ready to go. I think it's a great addition to our emergency must-haves.
First Aid Kit
What RV weather emergency must-have list would be complete without a first aid kit? This is a very important part of an emergency arsenal, whether you are Full-time RVing or not.
You never know when you will need to attend to wounds. Make sure to check the kit often to ensure it is properly stocked and doesn't include any expired items.
First aid kits come in various sizes. Select one that will fit the needs of your family and will fit in your rig.
During emergency situations, the power may go out or computer systems may be down. You may find yourself in a situation where credit card machines may be down, so make sure you have some cash-on-hand. This one is really tough for our family. Cash can be dropped and lost much easier than credit and debit cards.
If possible keep cash at all times and keep it somewhere safe in your rig for these types of emergencies. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you need fuel, food, or other vital supplies and you have no way of paying.
If you have to leave your RV Behind...
Please, do not put yourself in a dangerous situation. If you know that you must leave and do not have the time, money, or know-how to move your RV, just leave it behind. Nothing is more important than your life. Your RV is replaceable, you are not. Even if you are in a situation where you cannot afford to lose your rig, please don't stay in a dangerous situation if you get the opportunity to leave. It may take some time, but you will eventually be able to replace your rig. Go. Be safe.
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Exploring the Local Life is a Latino Roadschooling family of four that has been on the road since October 2015. We blog and vlog all about RVing, but it's not always rainbows and campfires. It's real-life every day as we navigate love, unschooling, and breaking free from the mold in our 26ft home on wheels.